Mass Shooting at Historic Black Church in Charleston South Carolina

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Charleston South Carolina – Multiple people were shot and at least 9 people have died at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church on Calhoun Street in downtown Charleston.

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The historical Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME) is part of the first independent black denomination in the nation and is known, along with co-founder Denmark Vesey, for it’s role in a planned slave uprising. The slave uprising was scheduled to begin on June 16th of 1822, it is being speculated that this is tied into the motive of the attack.

Suspect is described as a clean shaven early 20’s white male of slender build, wearing a gray sweatshirt and blue Jeans.

Update:

Clementa Pinckney, South Carolina Senator and pastor at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church has died from his injuries.

At the press conference Charleston Mayor Joseph P. Riley confirmed that 9 people have died.

Charleston police chief stated that the shooting will be investigated as a hate crime or act of domestic terrorism.

Police told reporters and people surrounding the church that there was a bomb threat and began moved away from the area around 11:30. Officers said they were investigating a bomb threat but as of 1 a.m. the bomb threat was cleared.

Police are asking anyone with information to contact them.

Family members who were briefed by chaplains at a nearby hotel told ABC that a 5-year-old child was in the church at the time of the shooting and survived by playing dead. Reports on twitter claim that the 5yr old is a little girl who was told to play dead by her Grandmother. The family also said that the shooter came into the church, sat down and attended the Bible study before he stood up and started shooting.

UPDATE: FBI has named a suspect in the Charleston shooting as 21 year old Dylann Storm Roof from the Columbia, South Carolina area.

Authorities said the gunman spent about an hour inside the church, mingling with the Wednesday night Bible study group before opening fire. Eight of the victims died at the church and the ninth died at a hospital. Three people survived.

Clearly a racially motivated act of domestic terrorism, Dylann was fascinated by white supremacy.

A survivor of the shooting has told a family member that the shooter said, “You rape our women and are taking over our country and you have to go.”

Witness says that he reloaded 5 times.

Dalton Tyler, who said he has known Roof for seven months to one year, said he saw the white, 21-year-old suspect just last week.

“He was big into segregation and other stuff,” Tyler said. “He said he wanted to start a civil war. He said he was going to do something like that and then kill himself.” He had been “planning something like that for six months.”

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These are the victims of this horrific hate crime. Our hearts go out to their families.

Sharonda Coleman-Singleton a mother of three, reverend, and high school track coach. In addition to her work with the high school, Coleman-Singleton was a reverend at Emanuel AME church.
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Clementa Pinckney, South Carolina Senator and pastor at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church

Cynthia Hurd, a librarian at the public library for 31 years and was serving as the manager at St. Andrews Regional library since 2011. “Cynthia was a tireless servant of the community who spent her life helping residents, making sure they had every opportunity for an education and personal growth,” the CCPL said in a statement. enhanced-17480-1434647759-1 Tywanza Sanders was a recent graduate of Allen University in Columbia and had most recently been working at a barber shop. “He was a quiet, well known student who was committed to his education,” Dr. Flavia Eldemire, vice president of Institutional Advancement at Allen University, said in a statement.

Ethel Lee Lance A sexton at the church who had worked there for more than 30 years . “I’m lost, I’m lost”, her grandson, Jon Quil Lance, told The Post and Courier as he waited outside the trauma center of Medical University Hospital where the victims were being treated. He said his granny was “the heart of the family. “She’s a Christian, hardworking; I could call my granny for anything. I don’t have anyone else like that,” he told The Post and Courier.

Danial L Simmons Simmons, a ministerial staff member at the church, died in the shooting, his daughter, Arcelia Simmons confirmed to ABC News. She said that Simmons attended bible study every Wednesday. BuzzFeed News spoke to Simmons’ son, Daniel Simmons Jr., who said, “I’m doing very well with the grace and peace that god has planted.”

Ethel Lance, 70, a retired Gilliard Center employee who worked recently as a church janitor.

Susie Jackson, 87, Lance’s cousin who was named by a relative and was a longtime church member.

Depayne Middleton Doctor, 49, who retired in 2005 as Charleston County director of the Community Development Block Grant Program.

Myra Thompson was the wife of reverend Anthony Thomspon, who is the Vicar at Holy Trinity REC. The church confirmed the death in a tweet Thursday.

Check back – this article will be updated as events unfold and information becomes available.

 

 

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Jennifer Baker is the founder and editor of Revolution News - Contact us with inquiries, tips, corrections at - revnewsmedia@gmail.com